Emily and I had been together forever. Well, over ten years. “Em, you’re still beautiful. I’ve often wondered why you picked me? I’m very grateful, of course, but I’m fairly ordinary.” I’ll never know how Emily took to a homely lump like me. Even my dad said that I looked like a boofhead.
“Em, you once told me that I looked like a giant bull-frog and should paint myself green.”
“But a very nice bull-frog,” Em said, smiling, “and my bull-frog.”
I remembered her in primary school, a pest running around squawking with skun knees. She threatened to punch me once. That was a worry. She was bigger than me at the time and my dad had told me that I’m not allowed to punch girls. Even if they punch me first.
Then all of a sudden she did that ugly duckling-to-swan thing. I’ll never forget that! It was at our school graduation dance. My mate Tommy, and I, were sitting on the bench along the wall of the school gym cum ballroom. We were planning the great escape. But there were teachers guarding the doors.
“Bullying bastards,” We agreed, glaring about.
Then I heard. “Will you dance with me please, Billy?”
I looked up not really understanding the situation. An attractive girl was standing right in front of me. Talking to me!
“I will, Emily,” I said jumping up.
Emily? Surely not— She looked totally different. Beautiful! She had done something to her hair and put on lipstick. The last time I saw her, she was wearing one of those awful school tunics that all the girls wore. Now Emily was wearing a pretty dress. She was holding out her hand to me.
I stood up, “I don’t dance very well, Emily.”
“I do. I’ll show you. C’mon Billy,” she said and led me onto the dance floor.
We shuffled along, me apologizing frequently. “You’re doing well, Billy.” I was suddenly aware that I was holding a beautiful girl very close. I had come to a stop and was staring into her big dark eyes. I just kissed her! I don’t know how it happened. She pulled back and stared at me. What have I done! And then she kissed me. Right there on the dance floor! I became aware that a teacher was wrenching us apart and telling us to behave ourselves.
I was still staring at Emily, my heart was pounding, and then she smiled. Right at me! And I knew then that it was Emily and Billy forever!
We spent the rest of the night sitting together holding hands, absolutely impervious to the glaring teachers. I think we may have got up to dance again. I remember Tommy came over and sat with us.
“Bugger off.” I hissed at him.
Our parents tried to keep us apart and distracted us with all sorts of activities to no avail. That was it. We were a force of nature and still are. Implacable!